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Climate Catastrophe on the Mall December 9, 2009

Posted by skolmk in copenhagen, obama to copenhagen.
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Sprinting across the puddle laden lawn of the National Mall? Easier said than done, especially when one is carrying eight 5′  artificial bodies sporting a very important message: CO2 Kills.

The normally picturesque reflecting pool on the National Mall was witness to a grisly scene today, as we floated fake corpses face-down in the shallow water. A water-borne banner reading “Obama, Climate Change Kills / Earn Your Prize in Copenhagen” floated amongst the bodies, symbolic of the 300,000+ annual climate-related deaths estimated by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s think tank.

CO2 Kills-Obama Earn Your Prize

The mass of bodies was nothing short of what appeared to be a devastating climate change induced crime scene.

The United States is posturing to take on more global responsibility with Obama now attending the final days of the Copenhagen climate talks [instead of just when it’s convenient to also receive a Nobel Peace Prize]. While the conventional wisdom leading up to Copenhagen suggested that this climate conference was doomed to failure, Obama’s change in travel plans shed a new light on the potential for greater success.

As David Roberts with Grist commented, “Coming to Copenhagen at the climax of the talks, specifically to push negotiations “over the top,” as the White House statement says, is a risky move for Obama. He’s got skin in the game now; he’ll look foolish if he rides in at the last minute and fails to broker an agreement.”

Nobel Peace Prize Send Off at the Reflecting Pool

The move was attributed to recent climate commitments from China and India, and signals that a Real Deal is a possible outcome of the conference.

Unlike the casualties of climate change in the reflecting pool today, the treaty negotiations in Copenhagen are very much alive.


First fossil award goes to Austria (and its Nordic neighbors) December 9, 2009

Posted by Julie in Uncategorized.
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As you may have heard, the Copenhagen talks kicked off yesterday with an invigorating speech from Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, rumors that the EU might announce a stronger carbon reduction target, and of course, the first round of Fossil of the Day Awards for the greatest obstructionists.

First place went to all the Annex I countries for generally trying to weaken a deal. Annex I countries are developed countries that are most responsible for climate change. They are the countries that were supposed to make emissions cuts under the Kyoto Protocol (only some did). No surprise here – the FOTDA judges simply decided to kick off Copenhagen Fossil of the Day but calling out wealthier countries that are perpetually dragging their feet when it comes to getting a Real Deal.

The second place award, however, was a bit more of a shock. Austria, and its Nordic neighbors Finland and Sweden were awarded second place for an outrageous attempt to hijack the REDD mechanism for their own benefit. REDD (which stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) is an already precarious offset scheme that gives developing countries carbon credits to keep their forests standing. It is meant to give poorer countries an incentive to reduce their emissions. It is certainly NOT for fully developed wealthy nations like Austria who need to make REAL cuts in their emissions rather than get paid to protect forests they were going to protect anyway.

Even though we’re busy building an Ark and planning other big actions, a few of us made a quick trip to the Embassy of Austria today and attempted to deliver the prize. Much to our dismay, the embassy was closed (closed? in the middle of the day on a Tuesday?) But we got some great photos, which we think are enough to say: SHAME ON YOU AUSTRIA. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME. AND SHAME ON YOUR NORDIC NEIGHBORS TOO!

Stay tuned for additional fossil awards presentations over the next few weeks. While we don’t have time to delivery fossil awards every day, you can check out all daily winners on the official Fossil of the Day Award website, which even includes a live video stream of the award ceremony in Copenhagen. We also encourage you to deliver a fossil award yourself if you’re so inspired. Shoot us an email at info -at- actionfactories.org and we can give you some tips, and maybe even a pre-made trophy!

The Ark Takes Shape December 7, 2009

Posted by Morgan in Ark, copenhagen.
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If you build it, they will come.  When we set out to build a huge ark on the national mall to illustrate what we’ll need if we don’t get a climate deal, we expected to make a splash.  What we weren’t prepared for was the response from concerned folks from all different corners of DC who want something to do to help.

In just the past week that we’ve worked on this, we’ve gotten props from international clean energy leaders like Bill McKibbon, and gotten tons of volunteers signing up to wield a hammer.  (If you want to help, sign up here!)

Copenhagen starts today.  There are 10 days of negotiations.  10 days for the years of campaigning to turn into a real deal.  Ac Fac says, it better be good enough, because this ark isn’t going to be big enough for too many of our friends to join us.

3 Days ’til Copenhagen December 4, 2009

Posted by Julie in Uncategorized.
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Believe it or not, the Copenhagen summit begins in just 3 days. As far as we can tell, activists, organizers, government officials and, unfortunately, business lobbyists, are beginning to pour into the city. Everyone is bracing themselves for what is sure to be a busy, unpredictable, and historic two weeks.

So are we. While many of our friends are on the ground in Europe, those of us here at the DC Action Factory are preparing for an action-packed 2 weeks right here in Washington. After all, most of the people and corporations we’ll want to blame and shame for the shortcomings and failures coming out of Copenhagen have their headquarters right in our backyard.

If you’re interested in helping out with any of our actions, please click here to sign up. Here’s a sneak preview of what we have in store:

1. We are building a Giant Ark on the National Mall! In a matter of days we will begin constructing a giant boat designed to represent ‘Climate Plan B‘, the alternative to a fair, ambitious, and binding global treaty in Copenhagen. The Ark evokes the great flood, a realistic portrayal of the climate destruction already underway and the waves of destruction yet to come, especially if the world fails to reach a binding agreement.

2. We are holding a rally and candlelight vigil at the Ark on December 12 at 4pm, right at the half-way point of the Copenhagen talks. The event is part of “The World Wants a Real Deal” a global day of action, being organized by the TckTckTck campaign. Before the vigil, the event will feature a diversity of prominent climate activists and leaders.

3. We will present Fossil of the Day Awards to the countries who perform the worst during the climate talks. This will include high-profile deliveries to embassies throughout the city, as well as to the state department and selected members of the Senate. Who will you blame?

4. Surprises! You’ll just have to wait and see what else we have in store. Make sure to join our Friends of Avaaz Action Factory email list if you want to get rapid response action alerts.

Stay tuned and please join us for some fun action during these crucial two weeks!

Hope from Beijing for a Climate Treaty as US Delays Progress November 18, 2009

Posted by Morgan in obama to copenhagen, tcktcktck.
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Tuesday evening, amidst a historic Beijing meeting between President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao, dozens of activists with the global campaigning network Avaaz.org released over one hundred Chinese flying lanterns and a floating balloon banner into the air just south of the White House.

Chinese flying lanterns are a symbol of hope traditionally released to celebrate the new year. The Avaaz action highlights China’s proactive domestic climate commitments as a source of inspiration for the UN climate summit in Copenhagen this December.

“China is no longer a legitimate excuse for inaction on climate,” says Ricken Patel, Executive Director of Avaaz. “In fact, it’s China that is bringing hope to a world frustrated by the failure of the US government to address this crisis. Contrary to what some Senators argue, China is doing more in many areas than the US to fight climate change.” (more…)

Tonight: Flying Lanterns will Light Up Ellipse; Obama Delaying Climate Treaty while in Asia November 17, 2009

Posted by Julie in Uncategorized.
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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Meet us at the corner of 15th and Constitution at 5:45 tonight and look for people holding candles. It will be beautiful, safe, and fun.

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

CONTACT: Julie Erickson, julie@actionfactories.org, 413-687-1987

Youth Activists to Tell Obama to Join China and Light the Way on Climate

Hundreds of Chinese Flying Lanterns Will Light Up Ellipse as Activists Urge Obama to Attend Copenhagen Talks

Who: Climate activists with the Avaaz DC Climate Action Factory
What: Candlelight vigil, glow-in-the-dark balloon banner, and hundreds of flying Chinese paper lanterns
Where: Southern end of the Ellipse, south of the White House near 15th St. and Constitution Ave., NW
When: 6:30 PM, Tuesday, November 17th

Washington, DC — Tuesday evening, as President Obama continues his visit with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing, youth climate activists will light and release hundreds of Chinese flying lanterns into the air around the White House. The activists are making an urgent call for Obama to stop delaying a global climate treaty and for the US to stop lagging behind while other countries—including China—take action on climate change.

PHOTO OP: Hundreds of lanterns flying into the night sky with the White House and Washington Monument as a backdrop; glow-in-the-dark banner held up by helium balloons.

Avaaz is a global campaign network with 3.6 million members worldwide.
For more information visit http://www.avaaz.org